• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The sports shoe industry in China

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The sports shoe industry in China A sweatshop is a workplace where workers are subject to extreme exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or benefits, poor working conditions, such as health and safety hazards , and arbitrary discipline, such as physical and psychological abuse. Brief History: There have probably been sweatshops since one man first began working for another. Although sweatshops certainly existed before, the term "sweatshop" itself did not appear in common usage until the 1890s. Since the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, employers began to look for cheap labor in order to fill the needs of the expanding industries. Sweatshop production came out of hibernation in the late 1960s from U.S. A combination of forces contributed to their reappearance: changes in the retail industry, a growing global economy, increased reliance on contracting, and a large pool of cheap labor-mostly immigrants in the U.S. Nowadays, with the globalization of economy, workers around the world-- from New York and Los Angeles to Bangkok, Spain and San Salvador-- are experiencing the proliferation of sweatshop conditions. Perhaps the sports shoe industry in China is one of the most typical examples of sweatshop. Most of the sports shoe factories, located in the Pearl River Delta in south China, are set up with Hong Kong and Taiwanese investment. These factories are contracted by Nike or Reebok and Adidas. Almost all of workers in these factories are peasant workers (min gong) ...read more.

Middle

And these sports shoe giants have been enjoying huge profits by exploiting the huge gap between production costs (particularly labour costs) and the high production prices at which those shoes are sold in market. Meanwhile, working conditions in sports shoe making factories are getting worse then it was before. This is especially true that the number of hours that workers are forced to work has actually increased in the past few years. However, Poor conditions in the factory are not simply the result of having a particularly harsh factory owner. Generally, companies like Nike and Reebok do not deal with production,they distance themselves through subcontracting, benefiting from low production costs without any direct responsibilitie. Subcontracting allows them to respond quickly to changing styles and fashions, while passing all of the uncertainty and insecurity to their subcontractors and ultimately to the workers themselves. With little or no notice, the multinationals can change the order and demand a different style of shoe, forcing the subcontractor to make rapid changes in their production set-up. Since everything must be done very quickly; the workers have to work harder and faster, and to work overtime if they want to keep their jobs. And it is actually the multinationals, not the subcontractors that ultimately set the pace of production as well as the wages of the workers. If a subcontractor wants to stay in business, he must accept the timeline set by the multinational and accept the price the multinational is willing to pay per shoe. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, the Chinese government is also much more responsible for the problem. Sadly, as a developing country, there is trade-off between developing economy and improving working condition of workers, although these two should not have any inverse relationships under normal circumstances. Personally I have seen how fast China is changing, and the living standard for some people has been improved tremendously, on the other hand, the living condition for others is getting worse due to exploitations mentioned above. However, do not interpret this the wrong way. I love my country and I do not blame the government for I believe that the government only wants what is best for the citizens and for the nation. It would be too idealistic to think that a single paper can come up with solutions that have eluded government officials at the national level. However, there are some suggestions that I came up with, and there is a very good example - the rise of Japanese economy. I think that while attracting foreign capitals into the country, the Chinese business sector should also consider how to generate capital in their own country. Government emphasis in technology and education is one of the methods that could be employed to increase productivity of the labour pool and thus avoid exploitation. Technology advances (with little confidence to relate this topic to technology, since I am truly aware of that the technology expressed in different terms in real life somehow have caused fundamental social problems) also allow the country to produce their own products which attract foreign buyers, as in the case of Japanese Automobile industry. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Economy & Economics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Economy & Economics essays

  1. Evaluate the impact of Nike's outsourcing strategy and factory location on the host nation

    Creating more money for people to spend enabling the multiplier effect. In addition to this Nikes operations contribute tax payments, which can be used by the government to improve infrastructure leading to rising standards of living. Nikes implementation of the code of conduct also shows Nike is making a conscious effort to improve standards of living for workers.

  2. The Japanese Occupation - Concept of Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

    This economic upheaval meant that except for a small minority who won contracts, Southeast Asians in general suffered unemployment, poverty and the loss of basic necessities. As a result of the exorbitant demands of the Japanese, the system intensified the deficiency of the basic needs of the people.

  1. Living Wage

    and U.K. costs are about $12 and German costs $22. These labor costs include not only wages but also social contributions which in some cases, Turkey, Belgium and Colombia, for example, are equal to the wage itself. The scale of wages alone is even wider, ranging from highs of

  2. Critically evaluate the perceived competitive starategies of the five clothing retail outlets, namely Edgars, ...

    Large capital investments have already been made and the improving financial performance of some of the industry's major companies provides concrete evidence of the textile industry's determination to succeed. Possibility of quota-free and duty-free U.S. entry of Sub-Saharan African textiles and apparel Legislation introduced into the U.S.

  1. "The Rise & Fall of the Japanese Semiconductor Industry, 1970 - 2000"

    Initially US firms were making profit but with the help of Japanese government policy Japanese firms took over 80% of global market share of chip making business especially semiconductor industry where US was the innovator of the DRAM. Afterward tremendous pressure from US Govt.

  2. The structure of the airline industry.

    They are busy trying to grab market share from their competitors. They have reinstated some flights but the major plan has been to create new flights altogether. Southwest has ramped up its flights into the Las Vegas Market where America West all but pulled out entirely.

  1. Liberalization: where it has lead us and where it is headed

    Free the economy?? Why, they're trying to eliminate my ministry!" Too true, and he'll resist it with all his strength. Fortunately, one weakness of the Indian bureaucracy is that it reacts very slowly to changes in the economy. In fact, in a sense, it is still trying to tax and regulate the economy of 1947.

  2. Split Votes: A Nation Divided on the Marijuana/Drug Legalization Debate

    They attack the proponents of legalization's arguments head on and discredit them using hard numbers. Legalization backers say legalization of now illegal drugs will cut current spending on the police and the legal system in dealing with drug-related charges. Also, proponents say the government will make a great deal of revenue taxing the production and sale of currently illegal substances.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work